Many Ivy League alumni interviewers are upset, according to a Bloomberg article published Wednesday.
In the article several present and past alumni interviewers cited their discontent over the fact that out of the many of students they interview, few gain admission. Many are quitting their positions while others are ignoring their respective alma mater’s requests to help out. Interestingly enough, the article does not cite any Yale alums voicing their frustrations.
“Is it worth it to interview if I’m not going to have any influence on the students getting in?” Andrew Ross, a University of Pennsylvania alumni interviewer, said. “If it doesn’t mean much, then they should find a better way to use our time. It just kind of feels ridiculous.”
A bit tangentially, the article also delves into the history of college admissions interviews. According to Jerome Karabel, the the author of the book “The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton,” Harvard, Yale and Princeton first instituted interviews in the 1920s as a tool for identifying Jewish applicants, the article explained.
“To ensure that ‘undesirables’ were identified and to assess important but subtle indicators of background and breeding such as speech, dress, deportment, and physical appearance, a personal interview was required, a final screening device usually conducted by the Director of Admissions or a trusted alumnus,” Karabel wrote.
An entire section of the article is dedicated to “Yale response:”
“That a number of the Ivies tried to limit Jewish enrollment in the 20’s and 30’s seems clear,” Jeffrey Brenzel, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale, said in an e-mail about Karabel’s research.
Yale doesn’t have an “independent basis for evaluating what role alumni interviewing might or might not have played in that process,” Brenzel said. “Certainly alumni interviewing does not have such a role today.”
Regular decisions for Yale came out yesterday.